About Dr Jang
Dr. Dennis Jang is our Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, as well has very experienced Chiropractor. Dr. Jang was born in Sydney, and grew up on the Northern Beaches, so he’s no stranger to coastal culture. He gained his Bachelor of Chiropractic Science and Master of Chiropractic degrees from Macquarie University, and his Bachelor of Health Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from UTS. He has extensive experience treating musculoskeletal pain disorders in Australia and internationally.
Dr. Jang has recently returned from a sabbatical in South Korea, where he worked for a number of months in one of the country’s largest Traditional Chinese Medicine clinics.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of primary health care that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, remedial massage, exercise and breathing therapy (such as qigong), and diet and lifestyle advice. In Australia, the most popular forms of TCM health care are acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has an uninterrupted history of development in China and other parts of East Asia dating back thousands of years. The primary feature of modern TCM is the premise that good health relies on the restoration and maintenance of harmony, balance and order to the individual.
TCM takes a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as it does on the treatment.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of needle therapy, which involves inserting fine, sterile needles into different points in the body in order to treat disease or relieve pain.
The needles are believed to restore normal functions in the body. When the acupuncture needles are inserted they send signals to the brain that promote healing by activating the body’s existing self-healing abilities.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals called neurotransmitters and hormones. These chemicals dull pain, boost the immune system and regulate various body functions.
Does it hurt?
This is the most common question asked about acupuncture because many people associate needles with pain. Acupuncture needles are about the thickness of a dog’s whisker, so they are virtually painless when inserted. After insertion, the practitioner will bring the needle to the appropriate depth. You will then usually feel a very unique sensation that can vary from tingling, to heaviness, to warmth, or nothing at all. Each person’s experience is different.
Where do the needles go?
This depends on the condition being treated. Although the points are located throughout the entire body, usually the needles are placed on the extremities from your elbows down to your hands, and from your knees down to your feet. Other common areas include the abdomen, back, and ears.
Are the needles sterile or reused?
Needles are wrapped and sterilized by the manufacturer. They are opened only when they are ready to be used, and afterwards, each needle is disposed of in a medical waste container.
How do I prepare?
It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions. It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.
What can acupuncture help with?
Acupuncture is known to treat a wide range of disorders including:
- Neurological conditions such as headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, nervous tension, stroke, some forms of deafness, facial and inter-costal neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, some forms of paralysis, sequelae of poliomyelitis, peripheral neuropathy, noises in the ears, dizziness, and Meniere’s disease.
- Cardiovascular disorders such as high or low blood pressure, fluid retention, chest pain, angina pectoris, poor circulation, cold hands and feet, and muscle cramps.
- Respiratory conditions such as bronchial asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, acute tonsillitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, hay fever, chronic cough, laryngitis, sore throat, influenza and the common cold.
- Digestive system disorders such as toothache, post-extraction pain, gingivitis, mouth ulcers, hiccough, spasms of the oesophagus, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastric hyperacidity, gastritis, heartburn, hiatus hernia syndrome, flatulence, paralytic ileus, colitis, diarrhoea, constipation, haemorrhoids, liver and gall bladder disorders, and weight control.
- Urogenital disorders such as cystitis, prostatitis, orchitis, low sexual vitality, urinary retention, kidney disorders, nocturnal enuresis, and neurogenic bladder dysfunction.
- Gynaecological and obstetric disorders such as premenstrual tension, painful, heavy or irregular, or the absence of periods, abnormal uterine bleeding or discharge, hormonal disturbances, disorders associated with menopause, prolapse of the uterus or bladder, difficulty with conception, and morning sickness.
- Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, nerve rash, herpes zoster, acne, scar tissue and resultant adhesions, hair loss and dandruff.
- Eye conditions such as visual disorders, red, sore, itchy or watery eyes, conjunctivitis, simple cataracts, myopia in children, and central retinitis.
- Musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, sciatica, lumbago, weak back, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, tenosynovitis, shoulder and neck pain, cervicobrachial syndrome, ‘frozen shoulder’, and ‘tennis elbow’.
- Sporting injuries such as sprained ankles and knees, cartilage problems, corking and tearing of muscles, torn ligaments and bruises.
- Psychological conditions such as depression, phobias, emotional disturbances, anxiety, nervousness and addictions such as smoking.
* The disorders above which appear in bold have been recognised by the World Health Organisation (December 1979) as having been successfully treated by acupuncture. The disorders which do not appear in bold above are other common disorders which have been found to respond to acupuncture.
What is Chinese herbal medicine?
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine uses over 450 substances that come from plant, animal and mineral sources. You may find some in your kitchen, such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden. These substances have been used in ancient times to establish the use of herbal formulas that are used to address health issues. Most Chinese herbal medicine requires a prescription from a licensed Chinese herbal practitioner.
What do Chinese herbs taste like?
Chinese herbal formulas have various tastes depending on your body type and condition. Herbal substances have many different flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, bland.
How do I take Chinese herbs?
Formulas consist of carefully combined herbs which come in various forms: capsules, pills and liquids. Depending on the severity of your condition we may choose one method over another for the desired effect.
Is it possible to combine Chinese herbal treatments with pharmaceuticals and other conventional medicines?
Yes, Chinese herbs can be taken along with western herbs, homeopathic medicines, vitamins, minerals and pharmaceutical drugs as long as they are checked by your practitioner. From the initial intake, we will create a custom formula and may advise you to take the herbs at a separate time than your other medicines.
Are there side effects from taking Chinese herbs?
The most common side effects of Chinese herbs are digestive upsets and gas/bloating depending on the body’s ability to digest them. Taking the formula after a meal may alleviate these symptoms in most cases.